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Real Advice from Real Dads: Supporting Your Pregnant Partner

So, you've just got the news that you're going to be bringing a baby into the world in 9 months. All the emotions, all the planning, all the dreams for the future of your family. 

 

But how do you make sure you're offering the support your partner needs through this time? Changing body and hormones. Morning sickness and swollen feet. Everything from the first trimester to finding clothes to fit her growing bump, she needs your support now more than ever.

 

We've collected advice from dad's who have been there and learned that.  Here are some of their best tips:

“Don’t buy Castrol oil, she doesn’t mean motor oil.”

-Nick

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"I feel like this answer comes off as insincere but I guess I don’t see a difference between those and a girlfriend/wife. We should support the mother-to-be like you hopefully always have. Yes their wants and needs may change throughout the pregnancy (everyone’s pregnancy and each pregnancy is different) but that shouldn’t change how we support them. Communication is key. We, as men, know nothing about that journey and what it’s like so we need to communicate about what those wants/needs are at that particular time, when they change, and what’s needed from us. Beyond that, I’ve told all my friends that have had kids after me not to listen to anyone that tells you “this is what you should do.” Just as each pregnancy is different, each child is different and will need you to do things differently, even if just slightly. But again, that all falls back on communicating with your significant other on what you are experiencing and writing your own parenting how-to as you go. No one, no book, and no group on Facebook has all the answers. You have to talk about it and decide what you want to do as a couple."

-Jason

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"When she wants jelly beans, buy the jelly beans."

-Mark

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Maybe it’s cliché but its never more important to humble yourself and admit to yourself that you have no idea how to support your partner so this is the time to ask what you can do. Realize that you think you’re bending over backwards to support them in every way you can think of bu there is some pressing need they have you couldn’t possibly imagine. Remember this is their first time going through it as well and they may ask for one thing, and change their mind two minutes later, and ask for support in a different way. Thanks’ okay, they’re figuring it out as they go. Everyone is just trying to do their best.

-Brian

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When you’ve got the little one in your arms put away your damn phone, the final four doesn’t matter, your pending work trip doesn’t matter, the bill you forgot to pay doesn’t matter. This is the time to try and memorize every square inch of the littler person you’re not going to love in ways you didn’t even know possible.

-Ben

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With all the prego books out there, I feel like it was more important to support her individualized pregnancy rather than following a what to expect at this stage type of book. Each time their body probably won’t react the same, their cravings will change, the way the baby sits might change, their goals through pregnancy should be able to change with each situation as well, they can and definitely will benefit from reading all those books but in the end, trust themselves and their bodies. I would also say, post partum is far more common than people talk about or expect and if it occurs it’s ok, what’s not ok is thinking it’ll just go away on its own.

-Jay

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All seriousness. I struggled with being a new dad/being gone for the military a lot. But even when I was around I wasn't performing the way I should have. But looking back I know what I should have done differently 
So that being said, it's crucial that a new dad understands how much he's going to be relied on. Things are hard in the first few weeks of a new life. And mom is tired and just went through 9 months of carrying and then birthing and now recovering. Not including any new problems that may crop up post-partum such as anxiety or depression. She won't be working right away, if she was, and she's going to need all the help she can get.
Offer to let her sleep longer. Make the meals. Maybe even meal prep so she doesn't have to when you're gone. Get up with the baby so she can rest. Be present. Be proactive. Tell her how amazing she's doing at working through recovery while maintaining the 24/7 care of a brand new human.
Don't just physically support her; emotional support is just as key! Talk to her. Let her lean on you and be a crutch for her. She will see the time and effort you put in, and she will return the favors in kind when she's finally past the initial humps of a new child.
It never really stops. You gotta build on it and change it over time as kiddo gets older. But that's life. We live and learn and grow together and a new kiddo is probably one of the best times to do all of that, together.
-Ron
What advice would you add? What are you most looking forward to?
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